Since 1900, Owensboro Municipal Utilities has provided power to your home or business. We work every day to bring you reliable, affordable energy.

Until 2020, OMU produced power for our community with the Elmer Smith Station. In 2019 and 2020, OMU closed the coal-producing plant’s two units due to energy market pricing, the increased maintenance of an aging plant and costly environmental requirements.

Upon the plant’s closure, OMU entered into a supply agreement with Big Rivers Electric Corporation. Power purchased from BREC, along with a long-term contract for hydropower from the Southeast Power Administration, meetings the power needs of our customer-owners.

ESS History

A diagram of a typical service line bringing power to your home or business. The diagram shows which portion of this service is owned by you, the customer, and the portion maintained and owned by OMU.

Beginning in 1964, power for our community was generated by two coal-fired generating units at the Elmer Smith Station on the east side of Owensboro.

Unit 1 was a 151 MW cyclone-fired unit commissioned in 1964; Unit 2 was a 285 MW tangentially-fired pulverized coal unit commissioned in 1974.

The Elmer Smith Plant included a full range of modern emission controls.  In 1995, per the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, OMU completed a $125 million project to reduce emissions of compounds that contributed to acid rain (sulfur dioxide (SO2), and nitrous oxides (NOx). The major component of this project was a flue gas desulfurization (FGD) system, or scrubber. Low NOx burners were also installed on Unit 2. Although not mandated, plant particulate control devices, called electrostatic precipitators (ESPs), were replaced to enhance particulate removal from the flue gas. Plant control systems were also updated at this time to utilize computerized technology for operation and monitoring of the units and FGD system.

In 2004, OMU completed a $48 million project to further reduce NOx emissions in response to new regulations to reduce NOx during the “ozone season” which is May through September. (NOx is a component of atmospheric ozone formation). Selective catalytic reduction units (SCR) and overfire air system were added to Unit 1 for NOx reduction. A selective non catalytic reduction system (SNCR) and advanced low NOx burners were added to Unit 2.


Rules and Regulations for OMU Electric Service

Owensboro Municipal Utilities has developed rules and regulations governing electric service.

These rules and regulations apply to all customers, prospective customers, their employees, and agents, and to any contractors, electricians, architects, and others performing work on, near, or related to OMU facilities.